|Antonio Margarito; “ I like to fight champions”
INTERVIEW By Gabriel Montoya (Oct 10, 2007) DoghouseBoxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
Last week in Vegas, Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank held a press conference to announce the undercard for the upcoming Miguel Cotto vs. Shane Mosley welterweight throwdown November 10th at Madison Square Garden. Among the bouts mentioned were the return of recent Golden Boy addition, linear lightweight champ Joel Casamayor, a step up in class bout for Top Rank prospect Victor Ortiz, and the return of Top Rank stalwart Antonio Margarito. The former welterweight titlist looked ready to go as he addressed the assembled media. “ I am here and will be champion again,” Margarito stated. He
will be the co-feature to the main event against NABF welterweight titlist Golden Johnson. If Margarito is victorious, he will be in line to face the winner of that bout. “ I can’t say who will win,” he would say” I just want to face the winner. Following the press conference, Margarito and I had a chance to talk.
Gabriel Montoya: Right off the Williams fight at the press conference, you were very angry saying that you had won the fight. It was a very close fight. After watching the tape, did you change your mind or do you still feel that you won?
Antonio Margarito: Yeah obviously after the fight I thought I won. During the fight I felt I was ahead. Well ahead. I felt I was winning the fight. So yeah it really bothered me. I was angry at the decision. I watched it again and I could see why the judges were giving him the points because he was throwing a lot of punches but they weren’t hitting anything. He was throwing punches. And I think the punches that I threw were a lot better and landed a lot better.
GM: You made the prediction that you were going to knock him out in seven. Do you think that affected you? Do you think you were over confident?
AM: Yeah you know I think I came out probably very slow in that fight. Maybe in those first couple of rounds. But there is no doubt in my mind that I came back and I did well enough to win. Unfortunately the title is gone. There’s nothing we can do about that. There’s something we can do about what’s coming up next. Win fights and get back into the championship fights.
GM: Why didn’t you try and get a rematch with Williams? Or did you try and get a rematch with Williams?
AM: You know I’d like to do the rematch. I would like to fight him again. There’s no question about that. Unfortunately they say there’s no deal that can be done right now. You have to wait until next year and I don’t want to wait til next year. I want to fight now.
GM: Kermit Cintron was available. Did you think about maybe rematching him? Was that a possibility? Or is that something you’d rather wait on until you have a belt?
AM: You know I was very happy when I heard that that fight might happen. I know they talked about it but they just couldn’t get it done. But I’d be happy to fight him. I know he wants to get that loss out of his system. I’d be happy to fight him. Especially when they’re champions. I like to fight champions. That’s what I like to do and if the opportunity comes I’d be happy to face him again.
GM: How much have you had a chance to study Golden Johnson? Can you speak to any weaknesses you see?
AM: I’ve seen videos of him. I think we can work with him downstairs. I’ll take advantage there and use whatever to work the fight and show everyone what I can do.
GM: When you go into a fight do you have a specific game plan or do you like to see what your opponent brings and then improvise from there?
AM: You can watch and probably get a mental idea of what you’d like to do but it’s not until you get up in the ring and you are actually fighting a guy that you know what’s going to work. And what works is throwing a lot of punches (smiles).
GM: You said you didn’t want to pick a winner between Cotto and Mosley. Is there one you would prefer to face over the other style wise?
AM: I think style wise; I’d love to fight Cotto. I think our styles would make for a great, exciting fight. I think it would be a great fight.
GM: Thank you, Antonio. Good luck to you.
AM: Thank you.
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